Broad Front?



Half measures or mockery will no longer be tolerated. And, in a way, it is the ongoing pandemic itself that shows us every day that it will not be possible to return to a supposed normality defined by expanding authoritarian neoliberalism

For some time now, the Brazilian political context has been largely defined by the suffocating lack of a clear perspective on what to do to contain (remove) Bolsonarismo from the leadership of the nation. Indeed, although many initially believed that the military could serve as a moderating agent in the face of rising neo-fascism, what is becoming increasingly clear is that the differences between the leadership of the armed forces and the current misrule are more in style than of substance. In this sense, recent mobilizations for the composition of different forms of a so-called broad front of democratic forces certainly represent something new and, it is hoped, promising.

In concrete terms, representatives of the most varied political forces in the country have increasingly manifested themselves in favor of a union in defense of democratic institutions. Some of these were initially more cautious in their criticism of the country's current rulers, such as central PSDB figures, and certainly several others were part of the 2016 impeachment movement, such as public media personalities. Faced with a president who, in the midst of the biggest pandemic in the country's history, takes to the streets along with his most staunch supporters to defend the closure of the National Congress and the STF, pro-democracy initiatives must be clearly praised.

However, for it to make sense, such efforts need not be a new version of the change to keep things as they are and imply a clear change in logic and current economic (neoliberalism), political (growing militarism and actions to eliminate the adversary) and cultural (moralist, reactionary and anti-intellectual) matrices. The fact is that we already live in a democracy that is deeply protected, among other things, by the tweets of military leaders who, over the last few years, have taken on the role of demarcating the limits of law enforcement by the supreme court.

It is therefore necessary to rebuild democratic fullness; which implies, in a concrete way, the removal of the Bolsonaro/Mourão ticket and the calling of general elections. Likewise, we need to demand the reversal of the constitutional reforms implemented by the post-parliamentary coup government of 2016, which prevented the budgetary allocations that are so urgent today in the fight against the pandemic.

Wide Front, Yes! Broad front for democracy and against the growing neo-fascist logic. But we also need a front that rejects ongoing militarism and neoliberalism – central instruments for the destruction of labor, social, human and environmental rights built with such hard pains over the last 30 years.

In this sense, a broad front for democracy, which lives up to its name, cannot be just one that demands Bolsonaro’s departure from the presidency, although this is the central demand. What must be sought, in an alternative way, is the rescue of the core values ​​enshrined in the 1988 Constitution: the promotion of political inclusion and the reduction of social inequalities.

We need, therefore, a movement, as broad and inclusive as possible, which incorporates in its ranks not only the out Bolsonaro but that can offer a horizon for the next day. This day cannot be the continuity of ongoing policies under a new civilian management or, worse, under a new military command.

It is undeniable that Bolsonaro is a clear threat to democracy itself, and today also to people's very physical existence. But it is also clear, although many who today line up at the out Bolsonaro still turn a blind eye to the evidence, Guedes, Salles, Weintraub, Mourão, etc. they are equally strong threats against any minimally democratic project of society since they are deleterious to the very notion of collectivity and are assumed promoters of the deepening of social disintegration and social inequalities.

As the streets around the world have demonstrated over the last few weeks, we live today immersed in a generalized anti-systemic feeling. Half measures or mockery will no longer be tolerated. And, in a way, it is the ongoing pandemic itself that shows us every day that it will not be possible to return to a supposed normality defined by the expanding authoritarian neoliberalism.

In Brazil, we need to ensure that the rescue of our own democratic institutionality is defined by the still existing constitutional frameworks. Concretely, it is necessary to guarantee the demarcation and protection of indigenous lands, the maintenance of secular education and scientific research as central axes of our public policies, the cancellation of End of the World PEC and the reversal of changes in social rights implemented over the past five years.

Without this prospect of rebuilding a national project, any Frente Ampla initiative will once again assume the air of general jelly, where the discourse of the so-called liberal right Decent will once again assume the leading role.

Such initiatives, via agreement between the gravediggers in uniform in power and our illustrated elites in a toga or suit in Congress, there is no way to handle what we really need: an Anti-fascist and Democratic Popular Front – of which we had the first signs last weekend.

Our country is too complex and needy to fit within such agreements that, as occurred in our insufficient democratic transition in the early 80s, if they work in the short term, they end up creating worse ghosts and monsters in the long term – a tragic result that we have experienced strongly over the last few times.

*Rafael R. Ioris is a professor at the University of Denver, USA.

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